“Don’t thank me just yet. There’s another reason why we have to go to Cali”
“Why is that?”
“To kill a commissioner”
And just like that the old Eric was back, but there was something different about this reincarnation. When he uttered those words, they came across his lips like daggers. The devious smile that emerged signaled that the hatred in his heart would be fed once more.
“Eric, I thought you were beyond that now? Doesn’t everyone love you?”
“And what gave you that idea, April?”
His eyes were curious in an unsavory, stalker way. I could feel the hair on my arms start to rise. For the first time ever in his presence, I was legitimately scared. Even when he was fileting the skin off of people, I didn’t feel this uneasy around him. I knew I needed to speak delicately.
“Well babe, there is the fact that business has been great without you having to strong arm folks. Then there’s Oz and his crew who have been reduced to functioning as bouncers and chauffeurs. And, the best part, all of my escorts have been able to move without any worries”
He smiled as he leaned back in his chair, Ciroc in hand.
“You’ve got a point, April! I’ve been so busy grinding that I haven’t taken the time to look at the fruit. It is amazing the deals that get done now!. I guess when you have the most power at the table, you get that loyalty and respect. Everyone knows what I’m capable of now, the reach that I have now”
“So why this sudden trip if you have that reach, babe? Shouldn’t you have one of your hitmen do it?”
He swallowed the last of his drink and fixed his eyes on me once again.
“This job is personal. I want the satisfaction of hearing that bitch take her last breath”
My heart started beating fast! Fear started running sprints up and down my spine. Eric always had code words for who the next target was. Lord, was I the commissioner that he needed to kill? I didn’t want him to see the anxiety in my face so I immediately answered back with
“So what will I be doing while you take care of the commissioner?”
“Oh, you’ll be having breakfast with the realtor. After, I will meet up with you guys to view the house”
“Okay Eric, but why a cop in LA? I can see if it was someone impeding your path to buy another bank or building, but a police commissioner? I don’t see how that’s a win for us baby?”
“What if I told you that the president of the LA police commission was responsible for the death of my mother? Would that shed some light on the situation?”
The fear slowly started to leave my body while Eric sat there unnerved. This was the first time that he ever mentioned his mother to me. Though he never asked for sympathy, I felt compelled to give him words of comfort. But what can you say to a man who rarely shows emotion? He sat there in his solitude, cold as ice, unphased with the task at hand. A part of me was screaming to leave him alone, but this recent revelation sent my mind swirling. Before I could catch myself, I asked
“So how is the president of a police commission responsible for your mother’s death?”
He pointed to the iPad that I still had in my hand as he slowly closed the partition.
“Open up the folder marked “November”
I did as instructed. When I unlocked the file, there were several items that opened all at once as if I were at my desk. The first thing I saw was the picture of a Black man, dead, wrapped in plastic. There was blood splatter throughout the wrapping, trying to seep through. The mystery man’s skull appeared to be caved in. I turned my head as the next picture was too gruesome to digest.
“That man in the plastic was my Uncle Bunny, one of LA’s finest. He wanted to bring change to that dysfunctional police department. He knew that snitching on those wretched animals would cost him his life”
“Yes. He went to his superiors and told them of what was going on after hours. How the White cops were targeting Blacks”
“So this is what happened?”
“Yes. But what they told mom and her family was that he died in an explosion, trying to take down a drug lord. There wasn’t a body present for us to bury”
“So how did you get these pictures?”
“When I saw James in December, he hinted at the subject and didn’t know it. That slip of the tongue forced me to start digging into my mother’s death. As it turns out, she was looking into the passing of Uncle Bunny. She discovered that Unc didn’t die in no fucking explosion!”
He motioned me to review the other pictures that he had collected. There were several pictures of his uncle hanging from a tree. And these men, dressed in uniform, were photographed laughing and taking swings at their defenseless colleague. I couldn’t bear to look anymore.
“Eric I’m so sorry! I can’t believe they did this to your uncle!”
“Yeah, those bastards treated him like a fucking pinata! Then when my mom discovered it, the bitch commissioner had her killed to keep it all quiet”
“How, how did you find all of this out Eric? I’m sure that they had all of this locked away?”
“You’re right, they did! However, my benefactor knows quite a few gearheads that can hack into anything. They just needed to be pointed in the right direction”
“You’ve been busy!”
“Indeed I have. And to think, all this time you thought I was laying it down with other women”
“I didn’t say that!”
“Didn’t you? You never answered my after hour calls. Then you were going out and getting down with other men outside of business. But more importantly, you stopped asking how I was doing. Everything was now business. You made yourself too busy for me. But that’s cool, that’s cool. You have to live your life, right?”
The driver came over the loudspeaker and stated that we were five minutes from the airport. Eric motioned for his device back. My hand was shaking as I gave it to him.
“Why are you shaking baby?”
“Because I questioned your allegiance to me. I gave into my insecurities and tried to make you jealous. When you didn’t react, I tried to move on”
“But why would I move on, April? You have helped me build this empire to what it is. And with our next move, we will be ready to go international”
“International? Really? So this isn’t just personal?”
“It is personal, which is why I’m doing it. But there is also a win attached. You see, the mayor elects the commissioners. Since the new mayor is in my benefactor’s pocket, we can use some of those misappropriated funds to our advantage”
“But wouldn’t you and your benefactor be found out?”
“At the risk of the entire Los Angeles police force falling down? Nah! Those funds were already accounted for. We’re just gonna take what rightfully belongs to the people and give it back to them”
“And what about me?”
“Nothing between us has changed, April”
“Even though I slept with other men?”
“I understand why you did it. Let’s just leave it at that and move on, okay?”
He gave me a kiss as he exited out the car first. I started to follow his lead, but he motioned me to stay. I could see a Black SUV come screaming onto the runway. It took a minute but I could see Eric giving instructions to the driver. Before I could blink, the door swung open. Oz was standing at the door.
“C’mon Ms. Carrington. It’s time to go”
Written by the Wednesday Gentlemen (even on a Thursday)